Thanks guys :) :) , and kudos to @Neoteros for the insight.
There was a wealth of talent available in Italy in 1848, which unfortunately went unused, or wasted in gallant but doomed attempts.
Things might have been truly different, and a much more satisfactory result might have been achieved if only the right nudges had been applied (and the Sardinian army had remembered to pick up maps of Lombardy and Veneto before crossing the Ticino, of course :rolleyes:).
It was painful to get rid of Vittorio Emanuele, and I fought tooth and nail to save him (1), but there was no reasonable way to do it.
At least his untimely death has resulted in the later birth of Maria Cristina, so it was not a complete waste. ;)

Enjoy the ride!

(1) It's a lie: I never liked VE, not as a man nor as a king, and getting rid of him was a guilty pleasure :p

I sometimes feel bad for poor VEII, I do not know why we are being so mean to the Re Galantuomo....

 
I sometimes feel bad for poor VEII, I do not know why we are being so mean to the Re Galantuomo....


That said, I wonder what the foreign policy of an Italy that basically reclaimed every single piece of Irredenta save for Corsica and maybe Malta (if we're stretching the definition of Irredenta by a fair bit) will look like - with no reason left to antagonize Vienna, a good relationship with Paris, and London being seen as an example to follow by two of the most influential men in the country, there would be no incentive for the country to engage in the kind of diplomatic shenanigans that would make von Bismarck (is he even going to become a thing here?) beg for mercy.

All I can see it being concerned about, is to try and keep the Balkans from uh, being the Balkans.
 
That said, I wonder what the foreign policy of an Italy that basically reclaimed every single piece of Irredenta save for Corsica and maybe Malta (if we're stretching the definition of Irredenta by a fair bit) will look like - with no reason left to antagonize Vienna, a good relationship with Paris, and London being seen as an example to follow by two of the most influential men in the country, there would be no incentive for the country to engage in the kind of diplomatic shenanigans that would make von Bismarck (is he even going to become a thing here?) beg for mercy.

All I can see it being concerned about, is to try and keep the Balkans from uh, being the Balkans.
I really like your analysis, and I subscribe. On the whole, the stance of *Italy on the international stage will largely depend on the outcome of the other 1848, which in turn will be reasonably different with respect to OTL, especially in Austria, for obvious reasons. This in turn will resonate in Germany, of course. As for Bismarck, it is hard to tell if he will rise to the same prominence as OTL: for now, IIRC he should be a rather obscure Prussian Junker. IOTL there was a time where the Germans complained that they had "just Bismarck", instead of Cavour; ITTL they might just say "Why don't we have our Cavour... Bismarck who?" XD Jokes aside, We will cover the international situation more in depth after the current narrative arc is completed.
 
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@Neoteros Funnily enough, the concept of "Irredenta" will never be born ITTL, because there are no Irredenta, are there? ;)
In principle you're on the right track. The Italian Confederation will gain on the battlefield, and have confirmed at the peace table, all that they could dream at the beginning (and more: there's a line from Manzoni, originally dedicated to Napoleon, but applicable as well to a victorious Ferdinand, "and gains a prize for which only a madman might hope").
Such a Confederation should pursue peaceful ways to achieve its new objectives, which can only be to modernize the country, pursue industrialization, carry on a land reform and so on. I doubt that the Austria that is going to survive in one way or the other the perfect storm of 1848 will be truly willing to let bygone be bygone. It may take a few years, but a revanchist Austria is in the cards, and most likely will be closely aligned to Russia and, probably, Prussia. In such a scenario, the natural allies would be France and England. At this stage, however, it is very difficult to guess which path will be taken by France ITTL. Ask me when we reach August or September 1848, and the French political situation is a bit clearer.

No promises for the Balkans: we're set up to do the impossible, but we cannot yet deliver miracles on demand. ;)
 
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Might we perhaps see a Großdeutschland born out of this as Austria looks for ways to regain it's greatness so to speak?

Who knows? It's way too early to see how all the chips will fall down
I suggest you follow the TL and sooner or later the German situation will become clear :)
 
Might we perhaps see a Großdeutschland born out of this as Austria looks for ways to regain it's greatness so to speak?

Since Austria seems to be headed towards utter ruin in the Adriatic, this is probably going to have consequences further inland, in Hungary - there were some ties between Hungarian and Italian nationalists back then and, if both movements were to succeed, this would probably turn Italy and Hungary into very close allies... if you bring the historical closeness of Hungary and Poland into the mix, some kind of Italy/Hungary/Poland axis wouldn't be unlikely, I mean, even in OTL, the national anthems of Italy and Poland mention the other country, in the context of a shared struggle against Vienna.

That'd be the stuff of nightmares for any Habsburg and any Romanov, and even the Sultan in Constantinople would be scared shitless, given the Ottomans' weakening grasp on the Balkans, that in this scenario would be more or less equally split between an Italian sphere of influence and a Hungarian one. Germany/Prussia would not like being boxed in by France, Hungary, Italy and possibly Poland, either. And even London might come to regret having had a hand in this mess.
 
Since Austria seems to be headed towards utter ruin in the Adriatic, this is probably going to have consequences further inland, in Hungary - there were some ties between Hungarian and Italian nationalists back then and, if both movements were to succeed, this would probably turn Italy and Hungary into very close allies... if you bring the historical closeness of Hungary and Poland into the mix, some kind of Italy/Hungary/Poland axis wouldn't be unlikely, I mean, even in OTL, the national anthems of Italy and Poland mention the other country, in the context of a shared struggle against Vienna.

That'd be the stuff of nightmares for any Habsburg and any Romanov, and even the Sultan in Constantinople would be scared shitless, given the Ottomans' weakening grasp on the Balkans, that in this scenario would be more or less equally split between an Italian sphere of influence and a Hungarian one. Germany/Prussia would not like being boxed in by France, Hungary, Italy and possibly Poland, either. And even London might come to regret having had a hand in this mess.
I was musing along similar lines myself. The loss of Lombardy -Venetia is already quite a blow, since these lands were paying 1/3 of the tax revenues of the empire, even with just 1/6 of the population (forget Dalmatia, which had to be subsidized, but in any case it was pocket change). Now they loose also Hungary, as well as the Military Frontier and Transylvania (Slovenia is a toss-up). It becomes pretty hard to keep up pretensions, also because it is quite likely that the Czechs will become uppity (Bohemia was the most industrialized portion of the Habsburg domains, as well as the only region which is a net fiscal contributor, after loosing Lombardy and Venetia).
Even Galicia has now just a narrow connection to Austria, across the Austrian portion of Poland.
Of course Hungary has to be able to remain in control of the Croatian heartlands in the Military Frontier, but if they loose them, Hungary is not very much viable, boxed in between Austria and Russia.
Maybe Austria turns towards German lands, but there is Prussia to be deal with, as well as the fact that all southern states have adopted constitutional regimes in 1848 (and Rheinlands is chomping at the bite). These constitutional lands might not be happy to end up again under Austrian hegemony, in particular if Austria does refuse to continue with the constitution granted in March 1848. Quite a mess, isn't it?
 
Narrative Interlude #26-A Night at Villa Borghi-Part 2
A Night at Villa Borghi - Part 2
Villa Borghi, 4 April 1848, Late Evening


Camillo di Cavour didn't know if he was in hogs' heaven or running toward a precipice. On one side of the ledger he was having the best time of his life: at the center of everything, pulling a thousand threads to produce a masterpiece, pitting his wits against worthy opponents (and worthy friends, but in politics there was no great difference between friends and foes), more than everything having found a prince worth of his allegiance: for a moment Cavour felt a real closeness with his distant ancestor who had come to Italy with Charlemagne to fight and carve a fief in the south of Piedmont. However, there was the other side of the ledger too: so many players in the game, so many unexpected challenges and opportunities. It would be easy to go wrong, to miss a step, to falter. But he would avoid that, at any cost: al custa cal custa (1), but he would not fail his liege, he would not smear the proud name of the house of Cavour.
Right now, he was confronting a new challenge, not a very difficult one, but completely unexpected: princess Maria Cristina couldn't wait until tomorrow to meet the Sicilian delegates, and so she had come - unannounced and without warning, but for the timely note from her husband - under the fig leaf of an incognito identity which was so thin to be almost laughable: there was no doubt that, when the Countess of Rivoli and the Comte d'Ormes were announced, only a nitwit could be deceived (and there were not too many nitwits currently guesting at Villa Borghi, which again was both a good and a bad thing).
Now he was witnessing the meeting between the princess and his husband, and the three delegates from Sicily. The princess' eyes were sparkling, there was fire in her veins for sure, while her husband, in the uniform of a colonel of the Piedmontese carabinieri, stood a step behind her: that was a good sign, Henri d'Orleans apparently knew the rules of etiquette for a future prince consort, and would not try to steal the scene from his wife.

When the Sicilian delegation entered, Prof. Mariano Stabile started to kneel, but was immediately stopped by Maria Cristina:
"The offer of the crown has been voted by the Parliament of a free people, and I will never require any Sicilian to kneel in front of me: not after being crowned in Palermo, much less now when at best I am a Queen designated."
Cavour was carefully looking at the expressions of the Sicilians: surprise, mingled to pleasure, almost bordering on awe, and knew that this was the founding stone in the legend of the Queen-to-be: without any doubt, the young princess shared the same sound political instincts of her brother, as well as his outspokenness and disregard for conventions. Some old curmudgeon (Solaro della Margherita came to mind, but also his own good brother Gustavo) would certainly be apoplectic, and loudly condemn this betrayal of the God-given right of kings, but Camillo was pleased, even if his face was devoid of expression: the whirlwind of this spring was heralding a new world, and a new world would require new rules.
"I thank you for your gracious words, Your Royal Highness , and even more I thank God for having guided our mind and our hearts when we took this most fateful decision: we couldn't hope for a better Queen" Stabile replied, bowing deeply.

...........

One thing done, and 99 more to go, mused Cavour rejoining the other guests of the night.
The second thing was already happening: a little crowd in a corner of the ballroom was being addressed by a man with piercing eyes and a cultured voice. Giuseppe Mazzini, the apostle of all revolutionaries and the boogeyman of any reactionary.
Prince Ferdinand had been very firm in his decision: any delegate would be admitted to the proceedings of Isola della Scala, even if he was a democrat or a republican, and one of his first actions as Lieutenant of the Kingdom had been to grant an amnesty for political crimes.
Cavour moved close to the crowd surrounding Mazzini, to better hear what he was saying:
"Italians have suffered for decades under the harsh laws of the Austrian empire: Austrian troops have intervened at their leisure and with full impunity to suppress in blood our insurrections, but also when there was no unrest, and life apparently flowed normally, policemen, judges, informants, censorship have plagued our lives. We have been forbidden to discuss openly our ideas, and have been imprisoned by an intricate structure of rules and regulations which have taken away most of the pleasure of living. Any one of you knows that under the censorship rules there are four categories of books, and only one of them is allowed to be printed: and even the decision to grant the permission to publish is taken only in Vienna! Do not believe that there rules are enforced just in Italy: they are applied all over the Austrian empire, stinting no efforts, and also the other states of Germany are bound by them: Metternich himself forced all the German states to accept his Carlsbad Dictates (2) in 1819, and reiterated them in 1839. For thirty years these Dictates have equally stifled the life of all Germans, and not just to keep the bloodthirsty revolutionaries at bay: slowly but surely these rules have permeated all aspects of social life: mutual help societies are banned at the stroke of a pen, student fraternities are forbidden, gymnastic clubs are scrutinized with meticulous care. Even the syllabus of all universities are carefully checked by myopic censors and liberal professors are dismissed by fiat. A German friend of mine told me that social life in the Germanies is nowadays restricted to theatres and opera halls: is this familiar to you too? I have lived many years in London, and in some public parks there is a notice: please do not step on the grass. I would assume that there are public parks in Vienna, but there the notice would read: you are allowed to step on the grass. Do you see the difference? Under the reactionary regimes only those things which are explicitly allowed are permitted, while under constitutional regimes only the forbidden actions are specified(3)."
Mazzini was in full flow, and until now Cavour could not object to his words: his characterization of the Austrian regime was scathing, but accurate. Camillo remembered one of his relatives in Geneva citing an Austrian writer to him: "The empire rests on four armies: a standing army of soldiers, a sitting army of bureaucrats, a kneeling army of priests and a crawling army of informants (4)". A better parsed sentence for sure, but it perfectly matched Mazzini's words. Somewhat bored by that rather priestly sermon, Cavour could not help but wonder whether "Don Mazzini" would be satisfied with the Italy they were shaping at Isola della Scala or not. Probably not in full, he thought, but then he should not be completely dissatisfied, either, he mused with an aristocratic smile.

Princess Cristina di Belgioioso was among those listening to Mazzini: Giuseppe was born to preach, thought the princess, even if not all of his preaching had been harmless. Too many young men had been sent to death fired up his siren song, embarking into enterprises which could never succeed. (5)
She was momentarily distracted by a footman, handing her a folded message. After perusing it, she asked: "Who sent this?"
"The countess of Rivoli, milady. She is standing near the fireplace, with her husband an another lady".

Cristina smiled thinly, thinking "The countess of Rivoli, of course. Known to select few as the Duchess of Genoa too, or is it the other way around? Well, the evening is becoming more and more interesting. Let's see what she has to tell me."

"Madame of Rivoli, I am honored by your attention" Cristina di Belgioioso spoke a fluent French, courtesy of the many years spent in Paris.
"Not as much as I am pleased to have the opportunity to meet you in person, Princess of Belgioioso. Your achievements and your legend precedes you. May I introduce my husband , the comte d'Ormes, and my dear friend countess Acceglio?"
"Enchanted, Comte, Countess. Are you from Savoy, Comte? I am not familiar with your title."
"No, princess. I was born in France: Ormes is a small fief near Orleans."
"And you are wearing the uniform of a Sardinian colonel. Were you one of the heroes of Goito, colonel?"
"Hardly, Madame. I only did my duty."
"May I call you Cristina, princess? "The countess of Rivoli smiled "And you may call me Costanza."
"Of course, Costanza."
"Is it true that you have arrived to Isola della Scala leading a regiment of volunteers?
"I see the news are moving fast, and becoming wilder by the hour. Tomorrow, they will say that I was at their head, riding a white horse and holding up a tricolor flag(6)." A round of laughter all around "It was just two companies of volunteers: I was in Naples, when I got the news that your...Prince Ferdinand had crossed the Ticino and was marching against the Austrians. There were many more stout hearts willing to follow me to the battle, but the ship I hired could hold just 200 men. I intended to go to Milan, but then I heard in Livorno of the victorious battle of Goito, and changed my destination."
"You Cristina have in common with my husband the habit of downplaying your own achievements. He was very brave at Goito, and you have been equally brave and bold in embarking on such an adventure."
"I recognized the uniform of the Carabinieri, and I have been told of their brave charge at the bridge, so I have not been deceived by the modesty of your husband. My adventure was not really bold, though, and anyway I arrived here too late."
"I believe a woman of your stature, Cristina, will still have many a chance to shine in this glorious springtime of Italy. If I may ask, were you so perfect even as a child? How can you be a princess, a patriot, a fighter, a journalist, a writer, an exile and yet the most famous salon keeper in Paris?"
Cristina felt that there was something missing in her question, a close. She thought that maybe it could have been "How can get to be a remarkable woman in this world of men?", but in the end preferred to keep that question to herself.
"You keep flattering me, Costanza. To answer part of your question, I was as a child melancholy, serious, introverted, quiet, so shy that I often happened to burst into tears in the living room of my mother because I realized that I was being looked at or that they wanted me to talk.(7) I guess that some of the talents you so kindly attribute to me were born out of consciousness of my weaknesses. I believe this is how it works best. And, from something I saw tonight, I would say the the most rebel of princesses is growing up into a great Queen: I may have been the uncrowned queen of yesterday's Parisian salons, but she will be the crowned Queen of tomorrow. Not that there are any other princesses here other than me, tonight." They all laughed; Maria Cristina blushed, but just a little, her eyes glowing.

A sudden commotion at the door, when a thin man with a dashing moustache, dressed in the uniform of a general officer with many shining decorations, entered.
"Is that prince Ferdinand? I was not expecting him to come here tonight." Cristina Trivulzio enquired.
The comte d'Ormes laughed: "Prince Ferdinand would never be seen wearing such a uniform, it's only suitable for an opera singer or for an actor on the scene. That man is Carlo di Borbone, heir to the ducal throne of Parma. Il duchino (8) arrived here a few days ago, leading two squadrons of Parmesan lancers and most anxious to get into the thick of the fight. For my sins, he will depart with me day after tomorrow, towards Udine and the Isonzo river."
"For a man just a step away from a ducal throne, his contribution to the war appears to be a bit stingy."
"It was a minor miracle he arrived here, after all: I've been told that he lost his way two or three times, and was almost arrested by our troops in Mantua. Apparently, he never thought necessary to pick up a map before leaving Parma (9). Unfortunately, now he is here, making a nuisance of himself. True to form, apparently. I'm told that when he was studying at the Military Academy in Turin, a few years ago, one night he got drunk in a dive, picked up a fight with another equally drunk cadet, and then fought a duel with him. It ended up in a farce, obviously: their seconds did not put a ball in their pistols, and no one was hurt. Then the duelists decided that all the demands of honor had been answered, also because no one remembered the reason for the duel, and finally each went his way to sleep off the drink." The argentine laugh of Cristina Belgioioso was spontaneous and compelling, and many heads turned towards her.
Henri silently congratulated with himself for not having revealed the most juicy piece of the story: his brother-at-law had added that after the duel it was discovered that both duelists had thoroughly pissed their own breeches. According to Ferdinand, because of the effect of excessive drink, but then he usually thought the best of everyone. Which was surely honorable, but experience taught that especially in war and politics, thinking the worse was actually the best policy. Most of times, at the very least, and only time would tell if "il Duchino" could be an exception. Maybe that was worth a bet with Ferdinand, although one he would have preferred to lose, a rare thing to think. "After all, it's 1848: anything may happen, except boredom", he mused.

Footnotes​
  1. "al custa cal custa" is Piedmontese dialect for "no matter the cost"​
  2. Metternich was always a strong believer in rules and regulations, and the need for strong censorship and strict regulations for meeting places, even the most innocent-looking ones​
  3. An actual OTL quote from an article written by Mazzini in 1839​
  4. The sentence is attributed to Adolf Fischof, Hungarian of Jewish descent who was among the Vienna insurgents​
  5. Cristina di Belgioioso had been a close supporter of Mazzini, and helped him to finance the botched insurrection of Savoy in 1835. Following additional failed insurrections, she had later distanced politically from his methods, if not his ideas.​
  6. Which, apart from the white horse, was precisely as she entered Milan IOTL​
  7. An actual OTL quote by Cristina Trivulzio di Belgioioso​
  8. "the little duke", nickname of Ferdinando Carlo​
  9. IOTL, Ferdinando Carlo left Parma alone, got lost a couple of times on the way to the encampment of Carlo Alberto, and was finally arrested in Mantua on suspicion of being an Austrian spy​

Made in @LordKalvan & Tarabas
 
Maria Cristina and her older near-namesake would feel right at home in a novel of manners.

Narrated by Cavour.
I just realized "Reason and Common Sense" and "Persuasion" would be very fit titles for ALT-Cavour's books... XD ;)
I cannot see Camillo writing a novel, it's not his cup of tea.
I do wonder if ITTL there will be an Italian Dickens or Victor Hugo to write a trilogy about the events of this fatal 1848
 
I cannot see Camillo writing a novel, it's not his cup of tea.
I do wonder if ITTL there will be an Italian Dickens or Victor Hugo to write a trilogy about the events of this fatal 1848
Yes, I was just joking: "Persuasion" could well be the title of a TTL biography of Cavour. Regarding TTL Italian Dickens or Victor Hugo, I would really love to see one. An early possibility is having Alessandro Manzoni back in action: in OTL 1850 he rejected his earlier views on mixing intention and historical facts, favoring the search for historical truth. Why not doing this with facts he had partially witnessed first-hand, and of which there were plenty of good an reliable resources?
 
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